This is the final instalment of Mark Dawson’s Beatrix Rose trilogy, the first of which I reviewed here: http://thecrimenovelreader.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/in-cold-blood-by-mark-dawson.html, the second here: http://thecrimenovelreader.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/blood-moon-rising-by-mark-dawson.html
Mark Dawson dropped the ball ever so slightly with Blood Moon Rising – please note, even when he does he’s still a cut above many writers and that book is well worth a read – but with Blood and Roses he’s back on 5 star form. His Beatrix Rose trilogy comes to a thrilling end with our heroine first defending her house in Marrakech from a heliborne assault and then flying to the United States to despatch her arch-nemesis, Control. But there’s a complication. Beatrix is terminally ill with cancer and over the course of the two previous novels we’ve witnessed her steady decline. In Blood and Roses she’s approaching death’s door.
Blood and Roses is both a brilliant book and effective end to the trilogy. As always with Mark Dawson it is well written and deftly plotted. The characters are well drawn and three dimensional, in particular both Beatrix and her daughter Isabella, the latter so much so that I wasn’t surprised to learn that the author has resurrected the character for her own series of novels. Beatrix’s cancer is also well realised. The use of this plotline both undercuts the main character’s superhuman tendencies – she is seriously kick-ass – and makes her all too mortal, while also adding to the tension as we wonder whether she will finally be able to achieve her goal. The settings are well drawn and as with Somalia in the first novel, In Cold Blood, Dawson vividly brings to life all three major locations – Marrakech, New York and most memorably, the swamps of North Carolina.
In conclusion this is a stunning finale to a stunning trilogy, Mark Dawson is an astounding thriller writer, and his publishers’, Thomas and Mercer, were wise to snap him up before anyone else did.